No high-speed rail funding in Ontario budget, so what's next?
Published Friday, April 12, 2019 4:24PM EDT
With high-speed rail from Toronto to London on 'pause,' what, if anything, is coming to our region to move people?
The Doug Ford government stopped capital funding for the project in Thursday’s budget.
But, it also promised to review the existing rail corridor and busing options to southwestern Ontario over the summer.
Transportation Minister, and Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP, Jeff Yurek says a report with concrete plans will be issued this fall.
Pressed by CTV News, he stated an expanded GO Transit rail service to the Forest City is not out of the question, but cautions that expanded VIA Rail service is more likely.
“We're transforming GO Transit into more than just a regional service. We now have GO going to Niagara and Kitchener, so that's never off the table, but the immediate conversations are with VIA and CN."
Even though high-speed rail is not completely off the radar, the mayor of Zorra Towship calls the budget direction “a victory!”
Marcus Ryan’s community would have been severed by high-speed lines, which can’t be crossed at road level, cutting off farms and families.
“It was going to take thousands of acres out of agriculture production. It was going to cut our community in half. It was going to cut agricultural businesses in half."
Still, Ryan believes a new transportation plan is a direction rural and city residents could both support and utilize.